The Q&A format of academia.SE is limited when it comes to questions where someone just needs advice or a brief therapy session from a formless elder in the ivory tower. Yet many people (especially those new to SE and unfamiliar with the format) ask away anyway. Then they either get closed or get a flurry of attention and opinions that are probably not really what they were looking for in the first place.
I've been wondering if there's a better way to process such questions without overwhelming or shutting down a real person in real distress. Already there are mechanisms that suggest if someone's question might be a duplicate or opinion-based when someone is typing a question. This is great. But would it possible to also refer the question-asker to chat? Such a feature might even help with question qualitiy in the long run, because the question-asker would have a chance to work out the kinks in chat and then, if they still deem it necessary, post a question.
This question is related: Better use of the chat room: Discussion groups proposal?. In fact, I think my proposal would help achieve the OP's goal of utilizing chat more.